The Best Books & Films to Support Sexual Assault Awareness Month

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In light of the #metoo movement, April has been declared as Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and to help celebrate and bring awareness to Sexual Assault, I wish to share some films and books that depict sexual assault in a realistic manner instead of glorifying rape culture. The books and films selected below focus on the psychological, emotional, and physical scars that one carries when they’re a victim of sexual assault. These books and films don’t solely focus on women getting revenge (ala I Spit On Your Grave) or being too crippled to rise up, but rather they explore the complexities of the aftermath of a sexual assault and the road to healing.

Books:

undone

She’s Come Undone – Wally Lamb

Dolores Price’s life is never the same after her rape. She begins to use food as a way to comfort her pain, and so she spends her days in front of the TV devouring Mallomars and other junk food till she reaches the hefty weight of 257 pounds. But Dolores wishes to live life, despite the fact that her actions would indicate otherwise. Dolores’ journey is both heartbreaking and inspiring.

speak

Speak – Laurie Halse Andersen

There’s a reason why this YA was a National Book Award Finalist, Melinda’s frightening assault at a party where she ends up calling the police (and thus making her the school pariah for being considered a snitch) is utterly relatable to any teenager who has ever had to look out for themselves at a party. Melinda’s assault causes her to lose her will to speak. She’s friendless and lonely, but slowly she begins to heal and with healing, she finds her voice and the courage to name her assaulter.

the way l was

The Way I Used To Be – Amber Smith

What happens when the older boy you have a crush on rapes you? Eden’s journey of how assault affects her future relationships, her friendships, and her relationship with her family is heartbreaking and poignant. This novel shows how the effects of trauma can last a lifetime, and only when she has the courage to confront her rapist does she finally get the inner peace she’s been lacking since that fateful night.

Films:

Precious

Hard Candy

Boys Don’t Cry

What books or films have you seen on sexual assault that you think was done right? Do you agree with this list? Comment below!

If you or anyone you know is a victim of sexual assault please refer to the following hotlines for help:

Safe Horizon – 212-227-300

https://hotline.rainn.org – To call or chat with a professional

DoD Safe Helpline (for military members and spouses) – https://www.safehelpline.org/

By: Azzurra Nox

Asia Argento: From Victim to Whore

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Despite the fact that the majority of people are appalled over the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Asia Argento seems to be getting the short stick of solidarity in her own home country, Italy. After Ronan Farrow’s lengthy article about the movie mogul for The New Yorker went viral, most people reached out in support of the victims. The opposite effect happened to Asia Argento in Italy. Not only was she victim blamed and ridiculed, but major Italian newspapers ran articles with titles such as, “First they gave it away, and twenty years later they whine,” (referring to all the actresses that had been sexually harassed and/or raped). If that alone doesn’t make your skin crawl with anger, you must not have a heart or conscience.

The Italian public has always seemed to have an unspoken dislike for actress Asia Argento since the very beginning of her career. I don’t know if it has to do with bearing an important last name (her father is the famed master of horror, director Dario Argento) that has led to the hate, but it’s always been there. For years people questioned her talent, stating that she was only getting roles because of her famous dad (despite the fact that she’s won TWO Davide di Donatello awards, the Italian equivalent of an Academy Award). There’s always been a certain jealousy surrounding her because her father wasn’t just famous in Italy, but worked with many actors in America and was considered a huge influence on the horror genre worldwide.

Another reason the Italian public has always had issues with her is because she’s always been open about her sexuality (and somehow in a patriarchal society, that is frightening). And I don’t think her public image ever truly recovered from the time actor Sergio Rubini pursued her whilst still married to Italy’s beloved actress Margherita Buy.

Are all these reasons valid to drag Asia Argento into the mud for actually speaking up on a harrowing incident? NO. And yet, the likes of Selvaggia Lucarelli (famous Italian journalist) and Vladimir Luxuria (famous transgender member of the Communist Refoundation Party and LGBT activist) have ruthlessly attacked, bullied, and ridiculed the actress for speaking up, ultimately trying to pass her off as an attention whore, or just plain whore.

Both Selvaggia Lucarelli and Vladimir Luxuria should be ashamed for shaming a rape victim. The violent backlash that Asia has had is sickening and proves time and time again exactly WHY women often don’t report rape or sexual harassment.

Rape is rape.

And Asia Argento is a victim of rape and as such should be applauded for her courage, not demeaned.

By: Azzurra Nox